Bill Gates envisions for China’s nuclear future

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates confirmed Wednesday that a company he helped found is cooperating in the development of a new type of nuclear reactor in China. “TerraPower is working on what we call nuclear power generation-4. The idea carries a very low cost, high security and low waste power generation,” Gates said at a news conference after talks on cooperation with the Ministry of science and Technology in Beijing on Wednesday.

Gates says the traveling wave reactor technology is low-cost, very safe and will generate little waste, it would be better for the environment and reduce the need for uranium enrichment and reprocessing. He spoke at a news conference Wednesday in Beijing following talks with officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Gates says about $1 billion will be put into the project over the next five years.

The reactor is being developed through TerraPower, a company co-founded by Gates, and the state-owned China National Nuclear Cooperation.

The company says that once produced, the Generation Four reactor will offer a “zero-emission, proliferation-resistant energy.” It says it would run on depleted uranium, currently a waste byproduct of the enrichment process.